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PFH Frequently Asked Questions

Can every pest problem be solved without the use of pesticides?

Some problems could be more difficult to eradicate completely without the use of pesticides. At PestFreeHome we recognise, however, that there are many situations where trapping or repelling pests will be sufficient or where pest problems can be resolved or prevented by denying pests access to your home. Wherever possible PestFreeHome offers these options.


Are there any laws restricting the use of pesticides?

To be sold legally in the UK all pesticides, synthetic or natural, must be approved by the Government. This approval is undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) depending on the type of product. The approval considers safety, humaneness, impact on the environment and effectiveness.


Can I buy the same pesticides that Pest Controllers Use?

Not always. The use of some pesticides is restricted to trained professionals. At PestFreeHome we only sell products that have been approved under the government regulations, for use by the general public.


How do I contact a professional pest controller?

Use the link on the PestFreeHome home page. This will take you to the postcode directory of the members of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA). The BPCA sets criteria for its members that include requirements for technician training, the possession of public and product liability insurance and a commitment to professionalism.


I have a mouse problem. I have called a professional pest controller who tells me that he will need to visit my house at least three times. Why can’t the job be done in one visit?

What your contractor is telling you is not unreasonable. If the job requires the use of mouse baits these will need to be checked and topped up until all of the mice have been eradicated. When this has been achieved, the pest controller will need to return once more to remove all baits from site. This is a legal requirement for safety reasons.


Are pesticides harmful to my family and pets?

All pesticides are to some degree toxic otherwise they would not work on pests. They should always therefore be treated with respect and stored and used in accordance with the instructions on the product label. Make sure when you purchase pesticides, that you always store them in the original container. We advise you on many pages of the PestFreeHome website ‘Always read the label’. The label provides you with the information that you will need for safe use.


What should I do with any pests that I kill?

Amateurs are permitted to dispose of dead pests and the traps used to catch them, in their household refuse and it is important that dead pests are disposed of quickly and properly. Pest animals like rats, may carry disease and, they may still contain ver small amounts of pesticide. They should therefore be collected up using non absorbent gloves, be placed in a plastic bag and this then be placed in a second plastic bag before placing in the refuse. The gloves should then be washed and disinfected and you should wash your hands after the job and before eating, drinking or smoking.


I have a wasps’ nest in my loft. What should I do?

PestFreeHome advises that you call in a professional. It is potentially dangerous to be in close proximity to a wasps’ nest without the correct protective clothing. Wasps’ will fly at, and sting without warning, anyone that may pose a threat to the nest. Wasp stings can induce anaphylactic shock in some people. If you suffer any effects from a wasp sting, other than localised pain, then seek medical advice urgently and immediately.


I have a swarm of bees in my garden. What should I do?

Swarms of bees can occur in late spring – May/June. This is a natural process when a beehive resumes production after the winter. Very often the hive will produce a new queen who drives out the old queen who then departs, with some of the workers to form a new colony. A swarm in a bush or tree, will be waiting for ‘scout bees’ to find a new home. The chances are that the swarm will move away of its own accord after a few hours. Do not attempt to disturb the swarm, call a local beekeeper. - See our resources page for bee keeping organisations.


I have bats roosting in my loft. A friend has suggested that I wait until the bats have left the loft at night and then block up the entrance hole to stop them getting back in. Is he right?

No. This is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Under this legislation it is an offence to cause any harm to bats either deliberately accidentally or to deny them access to their roosting sites. If you have bats in your home and they are causing you problems the only recourse that you have is to contact: ‘Natural England’ (England), ‘Scottish Natural Heritage’ (Scotland), ‘Countryside Council for Wales’ (Wales), or ‘Environment and Heritage Service’ Northern Ireland.


I have caught a mouse in a ‘live catch’ trap. How and where should I release it?

Mice do have a homing instinct so do not release it to close to your house otherwise you will be catching it again! Remember to be considerate to other householders. Do not release trapped mice too close to other people’s houses otherwise you will be passing your problem on to them.

  • July 30, 2014
  • Richard Strand